Minimum CO2 price of $32 needed to curb warming, study shows

Jun 16, 2014
Emissions spew out of a large stack at the coal fired Morgantown Generating Station, on May 29, 2014 in Newburg, Maryland

A global carbon price of at least $32 (24 euros) per tonne is needed by 2015 to apply an effective brake on global warming—almost five times today's European market rate, a study said Monday.

Co-authored by British economist Nicholas Stern, an authority on the costs of climate change, the report reviewed a widely-used model for assessing risk and found it led to a "gross underassessment" of danger.

This beefs up the case for strong cuts in greenhouse gas , helped by a carbon price "in the range of $32-103 per tonne of CO2 (tCO2) in 2015", said the study carried by The Economic Journal.

"Within two decades, the carbon price should rise in real terms to $82-260/tCO2," it added.

Such a price should limit the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to 425-500 particles per million, the level required to contain global warming to 1.5-2.0 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), said the report.

The study was co-authored by Stern's colleague, Simon Dietz, at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

It was released a day after the close of UN talks in Bonn on concluding a deal to curb . The pact is expected to be signed in Paris in December 2015.

In April, the UN's expert Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said the world can still limit to relatively safe levels, provided annual emissions are cut by 40-70 percent by 2050.

The panel listed a global as one option for tackling the challenge. It warned temperatures could rise by up to 4.8 Celsius this century and sea levels by 26-82 centimetres (10-32 inches) on present emissions trends.

The International Monetary Fund and World Bank have also this year called for the introduction of a universal price on carbon—the most common blamed for climate change.

For the moment, carbon prices are determined by national or regional systems—either as a tax on emissions or as a cap-and-trade scheme that allows companies to sell unused allotments.

The European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), the most ambitious cap-and-trade system in the world, has seen prices drop drastically from a peak of about 30 euros per tonne eight years ago to $7.7 (5.7 euros) today—partly due to countries issuing too many allowances.

The Stern-Dietz report said the standard DICE model used to calculate economic risks from , also by studies included in the IPCC's latest report, used unrealistic values and underestimated the potential damage.

The updated model, "strengthens the case for strong cuts in emissions of ," Dietz said in a statement.

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User comments : 22

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OdinsAcolyte
1.5 / 5 (16) Jun 16, 2014
I see only another racket. This is not the answer.
Make the poor poorer and the politicians rich. Not a good answer nor a healthy one for those who would impose such things. It wouldn't bother me except for those who are excepted. Nor do I think this is a viable worry. There are no environmental experts. None. All things must pass.
This civilization is a thing that cannot sustain itself. The only hope lies in knowledge and its preservation. Those who increase knowledge increase misery. So true.
thermodynamics
4.1 / 5 (13) Jun 16, 2014
OA said:
Nor do I think this is a viable worry. There are no environmental experts. None. All things must pass.
This civilization is a thing that cannot sustain itself. The only hope lies in knowledge and its preservation. Those who increase knowledge increase misery. So true.


Can you interpret this for me or have I slipped back into a time warp to the 60s and the yellow submarine on the commune? I want what he is smoking...

Explain "There are no environmental experts."

Please explain: "This civilization is a thing that cannot sustain itself."

Please explain: "Those who increase knowledge increase misery."

It sounds like you really need a trip to your therapist or you need to get back on your meds. If you have a scientific basis for any of these comments, please let us know so we won't have to worry about you offing yourself in the near future. Just dial 911.
strangedays
4.5 / 5 (8) Jun 16, 2014
Just dial 911


You think yanks have a monopoly on crazy? (-: Brits have crazies too! - in which case OA should dial 999.

I do agree with the gist of your post. Strange world, Strange days!
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (11) Jun 16, 2014
Carbon exchanges were supported, and heavily lobbied to Bush and Clinton, by Enron's Ken Lay in the 90's, for their profit, of course.
Shakescene21
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 16, 2014
The proposed carbon tax of $32 per tonne seems reasonable to me if it is applied equally. This works out to about 29 cents per gallon. (Burning a gallon of gasoline produces about 20 pounds of CO2, and there are about 2200 pounds in a tonne.)

The difficulty is in the way the taxes and revenues are apportioned by a 190-nation Climate Change Conference: I would be willing to pay an extra 30 cents per gallon of gasoline if everyone else in the world also paid 30 cents. I would be opposed if I had to pay $3.00 a gallon in carbon tax while Third World consumers pay nothing. I would also expect that the revenues be used for R&D to develop and implement non-carbon energy alternatives. I would be opposed if most of the revenues were given to Third World countries for "adaptation" rather than CO2 reduction.
In the end I don't think we'll have a global carbon tax, because most of the 190 nations will claim that they shouldn't have to pay anything but instead they should get money.
Solon
3.5 / 5 (4) Jun 16, 2014
Have a look at 'Carbon Derivatives 101'. To the Chicago financial mafia, it is a "license to print".
Nothing to do with trying to do what's best for the world, just an attempt to keep the big financial house of cards standing a little longer.
howhot2
3.3 / 5 (7) Jun 16, 2014
Carbon exchanges were supported, and heavily lobbied to Bush and Clinton, by Enron's Ken Lay in the 90's, for their profit, of course.


But that doesn't even speak to the problems that exist today. So it doesn't matter what you say. Clinton will go down as one of the most popular presidents in history, like it or not, and Ken Lay did his time in prison, unlike the republican bankers and 1% who nearly destroyed the american dream in a ponzi scheme that left american home owners suffering. Obama at least fixed what he could, where republicans would not. Remember that when you fckin vote.

To the article's point, to avert an AGW global disaster and eventual extinction, CO2 levels must not be allowed to rise. So we require the $32/ton CO2, (or more) and put the tax burden on everyone. Everyone need to suck-it-up. Or, we just simply pass a CO2 luxury/inheritance tax that 1% of people pay. That should be increased to $64 and subsidize energy efficient EV cars.
rickybobby
2 / 5 (8) Jun 17, 2014
As soon as governments figured out how to make money from one of the theories of global warming they decided on the one that provides most profit which is the man made global warming theory. Any country that does not pay this global tax will be invaded in the name of keeping things green. I'm sorry I meant will be liberated. What I'm trying to figure out is how are they going to charge volcanoes and other naturally occurring CO2 objects. How will they tax the martians who own so many polluting UFO's that have caused their ice caps to start melting as well.
hangman04
3.3 / 5 (3) Jun 17, 2014
Gibberish....

This type of taxation will just be payed by the population, those who can afford, at least. At the moment there is no on the spot viable technology that could fully replace fossils. Sure, green alternative is nice, in some cases it's even competitive, but not on a wide spread. There are a lot of problems that have to be addressed before we can say ''bye bye fossils''.

Not to mention that many industries don't use electricity but need gas/methane/petrol etc as a raw material. Here the only solution i see is carbon neutral substitutes (algae, syngas etc) when again they will be viable.

This type of taxation would make sense when you have a viable more efficient alternative and companies are resilient in using them just because they wanna milk some extra $ form their previous investments before starting over. So then, govs can force a change.
waynelus
2.6 / 5 (5) Jun 17, 2014
Economist Charles R. Frank of the liberal Brookings Institution has also recently found that renewable energy technologies are not needed to reduce C02 because hydro, nuclear and natural gas power reduce roughly the same amount of C02 but at a much, much lower cost.
I would suggest reading his article "Why the Best Path to a Low Carbon Future is Not Wind or Solar Power.' Conventional energy sources beat renewable energy because of the capacity factor of being available 24 hours/7 days wee/365 days while wind is only sporadically available mostly at night and solar can only produce peak power for 5 hours a day.
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (8) Jun 17, 2014
But that doesn't even speak to the problems that exist today.

The issue is the same, using state power to plunder.
freethinking
1.9 / 5 (9) Jun 17, 2014
If $32 is good then $132 is better.

How about this, every progressive that supports a tax on carbon pays $132. This way they cover for the sins of those who don't believe or want to pay. Again, if they are ok with $32 then $132 is better for them.
ryggesogn2
2.2 / 5 (10) Jun 17, 2014
Where does the plundered wealth go?
Modernmystic
2.3 / 5 (9) Jun 17, 2014
This would quite likely destroy the world economy, or any national economy which adopted it.

The cure is worse than the disease in this case. Which (and I know I sound like a broken record) continues to show that this isn't a policy problem. ANY tax on carbon is treating the SYMPTOMS...not the problem. By all means, continue to give aspirin to something that needs penicillin though...
freethinking
2.5 / 5 (8) Jun 18, 2014
Rygg, I would use the funds to repair the damage that Progressive Environmental Policies have done.

I would use the funds to lower the tax rate of those that work.

I would use the funds to build a fence to stop the influx of Criminal aliens Obama has invited to invade the USA.
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (7) Jun 18, 2014
Better yet, let 'the people' keep their wealth instead of funding more govt parasites.

Millions of people know best how to use their wealth.
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (7) Jun 18, 2014
"Let's be clear here: The reality is that economic growth – fueled by abundant, affordable energy – has moved billions of human beings out of poverty over the past 150 years, and it is the only real hope developing nations have of moving their own billions of human beings out of their existing poverty in the coming 150 years. This is simply not a truly arguable point."
http://www.forbes...rgy-mix/

AGW socialists want to keep over half the world in poverty.
Not very humane.
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (7) Jun 18, 2014
"Merely to keep pace with the global growth in electricity demand would require the installation of about 280,000 megawatts of new wind-energy capacity every year. According to several academic studies, the areal power density of wind energy—that is, the amount of power that can be derived from a given amount of land—is about one watt per square meter. This means that installing the requisite additional wind capacity would require covering about 280,000 square kilometers (108,000 square miles of land)—an area nearly the size of Italy—with wind turbines, every year."
http://www.forbes...rgy-mix/
Modernmystic
3 / 5 (4) Jun 18, 2014
I would use the funds to build a fence to stop the influx of Criminal aliens Obama has invited to invade the USA.


Are you familiar with the history of immigration to the US and its economic impact?
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (7) Jun 18, 2014
I would use the funds to build a fence to stop the influx of Criminal aliens Obama has invited to invade the USA.


Are you familiar with the history of immigration to the US and its economic impact?


But they didn't receive govt welfare.

"– Judicial Watch today released documents detailing how the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is working with the Mexican government to promote participation by illegal aliens in the U.S. food stamp program."
http://www.judici...-aliens/

Or vote:

"New York Democrat Introduces Legislation - Claims Illegal Immigrants Have The Right To Vote
Read more at http://freedomout...ixh5B.99
howhot2
4.2 / 5 (5) Jun 19, 2014
The vexatious @R2 says,
Better yet, let 'the people' keep their wealth instead of funding more govt parasites.

Millions of people know best how to use their wealth.


Don't you mean, "Better yet, let 'the 400 wealthiest of people' keep their wealth instead of funding more of the billions of parasites. Millions of people know better how to use that wealth."
ryggesogn2
1.7 / 5 (6) Jun 19, 2014
If you can plunder the wealth from 400 you can plunder the wealth from 400 million.
Plunder is plunder the end is the same tyranny and death.
Socialists are dishonest thieves hiding behind the states' guns. Honest thieves have the courage to take the risk to plunder.